Ford F-250/F-350: How to Replace Radiator

The radiator in your F-250 or F-350 Super Duty is responsible for keeping your engine cool. Here's how to replace it yourself.

By Pizzaman711 - December 24, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Your F-250 or F-350 Super Duty's radiator is responsible for keeping your engine cool. If your radiator isn't performing properly, it is probably time to replace it. Replacing the radiator yourself isn't as hard as it might seem. You will want to avoid grabbing the stop leak because it will create a mess.

Materials Needed

  • Radiator
  • Motorcraft Gold coolant
  • Distilled water
  • Socket wrench and sockets
  • Drain pan
  • Large open-ended or adjustable wrench
  • Pliers

Step 1 - Drain the coolant

Crawl under the truck and loosen the valve on the radiator. Allow all the coolant to drain out before removing clamps and hoses. While it is draining, look at your radiator hoses and clamps. If any of them look cracked or worn, now might be the time to replace them.

(Related Article: How to Replace Your Upper Radiator Hose -

Figure 1. Drain the coolant by loosening the valve on the bottom of the radiator.

Step 2 - Remove radiator hoses

Once the coolant has drained from the radiator, remove the hose. You will need to get under the truck to remove the lower radiator hose clamp and successfully remove the hose. Then, head back under the hood and remove the upper radiator hose in the same fashion.

Figure 2. Remove the radiator hoses.

Step 3 - Remove the engine fan

Start by getting the upper radiator shroud (the plastic frame around the radiator) loose, but do not remove it yet. At the water pump, you'll remove the fan by loosening its neck from the water pump pulley. You'll turn the neck to the left with your large open-ended or adjustable wrench. Try knocking it loose, but if the pulley moves, use a large screwdriver to wedge against the pulley bolts to keep it from moving. Once loose, remove the fan and shroud together.

Figure 3. Remove the engine fan.

Step 4 - Remove the radiator

Take out that bad radiator. Take the two radiator hold-downs on top of the radiator and remove them from the radiator support. Then, simply lift up the radiator. If your truck is an automatic, you'll need to take the transmission lines off of the radiator using a line wrench. You may have to replace some transmission fluid after installing the radiator. If you have an aftermarket transmission cooler and have bypassed the radiator, then you don't need to worry about this.

Figure 4. Transmission lines circled above.

Step 5 - Install the new radiator

Slip the new radiator into its home and make sure the lower supports hold firmly. If the rubber isolators came off with the old radiator, put them back on their brackets before installing the new radiator. Take reverse steps to install the new radiator.

Figure 5. Install the new radiator.

Step 6 - Refill the radiator with coolant

Now, you'll want to add your 50/50 mixture of distilled water and Motorcraft Gold to your Ford Super Duty. Add enough to fill to the "Cold Full" line on the degas bottle and after installing the cap on the bottle, start the truck up again. Allow it to warm up again, but watch the coolant level as it bleeds air from the system.

Once the level stabilizes, take the truck for a drive to the parts store and dispose of the used coolant. Once returning home, check the coolant level and add as needed. Normally, you'd have to bleed the system with the radiator cap open. On a pressurized system that comes on a modern Super Duty, the degas bottle will bleed the system out by itself; however, you still need to keep an eye on coolant levels after this. Now celebrate as you have just installed your new radiator!

Figure 6. Refill the radiator with coolant.

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